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Thread: Adding more to beats?

  1. #1
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    Adding more to beats?

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    I'm a rapper and make my own beats, I've made a lot of electronic music in the past so I did a lot of layering and progressions.

    I find that I can only add a few layers at the most without it drowning out my rapping. Even more so a rapper I collab with has a low pitched voice and raps fast at times so it's even more limiting what I can do with him.

    I spend like 30% of my time making the beat and 70% writing and recording. I know it's more about the lyricism than the beat and I'm trying to follow that rule but I wish I could do more with the beat besides variation of drum patterns.

    Sometimes I'll change up the beat back and forth 16's and add a bridge. But I wish I could have more layers going on in general while leaving space for rapping.


    ANy tricks?

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    As you said adding bridges or maybe even interludes can help give the beat further texture.
    Also spend more time on the mixing/mastering of the track; you can rap on the most chaotic beat, given its mixed properly.

    Or you could just keep it simple. If you're offering lyricism then that's what your audience is gonna listen for

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    To piggyback modalmo, add some focus to the arrangement. Mixing & adding vocals will be easier if you pay attention to instrumentation & frequencies during the writing & arrangement stages (the beat). Since you know who the rappers will be, write & arrange around those frequencies.

    If you're recording in a DAW, grab an EQ with frequency analysis and take note. When you're writing & arranging, work outside of those frequencies for the most part. There will be spill over, but don't stack heavy instrumentation in the same frequencies you know your voices will occupy. When you collab with the bassier voiced MC, drop some low-mids/high-bass instrumentation, for example.

    As for the time spent, spend the time where it's needed. If you're a more skilled writer, less time can be spent writing rhymes, more on the track. Once you get the hang of writing/arranging the track around the vocal frequencies, you won't need as much time there.
    The groove baby, the groove...

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    Above all keep it simple, main melody, counter melody, drums thats it. Anything more its going to crowd up the mix.
    Rapper Follow me on soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/djmuhal3000

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    Are you using sidechain compression eg ducking the music when the vocal is in or vice versa?
    With clever automated pan and EQ it is possible to fit conflicting frequencies into a track if they do not fall on the same beat, so bassy rapping that syncopates with your heavy downbeat kick/bass can still have enough space. A lot of the music that I make has a LOT of low end stuff going on, and with time and patience you can bring out every element by spacing it all out and lots of subtractive EQ.
    well maybe on the next track, or the next....or so on. PM me if u want any more ideas....

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuhalXtra1387 View Post
    Above all keep it simple, main melody, counter melody, drums thats it. Anything more its going to crowd up the mix.
    For someone getting the hang of it, I agree.

    I now forget where I got this from, but I always think of arrangements in 5 parts. I do stuff outside of Hip Hop, but I apply it to Hip Hop tracks also, at least the denser beats.

    Foundation - Drums, bass & instruments playing that same rhythm
    Rhythm - Instruments countering that rhythm, like percussion, in some cases guitar, keys, etc.
    Lead - Lead vocal or instrument
    Fills - Fills between lead lines
    Pad - Sustaining elements "under" the beat, like synths, strings, organ, etc.

    Never do I have all 5 playing at once, but these elements make up many of my tracks.
    The groove baby, the groove...

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